The Past Comes Alive This Saturday at Fort Point Civil War Living History Day

January 24, 2017

Fort Point Civil War Living History Day

This Saturday, the 155-year-old walls of Fort Point will again echo with the sounds of fifes and drums and tramp of boots as this San Francisco landmark celebrates Civil War Living History Day. Come watch and interact with dozens of reenactors from the American Civil War Association portraying Union soldiers and civilians from the time of the War Between the States at the only Civil War-era brick fort west of the Mississippi.

The Marin Symphony Presents Orch'apalooza this Sunday, January 29

January 24, 2017

Midori at the Marin Symphony Marin Mommies presents a sponsored shout-out from the Marin Symphony.

As a child prodigy, Midori traveled the world, making her legendary debut at age 11 with the New York Philharmonic. Now a mature artist who has continued to develop her art, Midori inspires audiences around the globe. This season the Marin Symphony and our Youth Orchestra have been selected for her prestigious Orchestra Residency Program Award.

Midori and all three of the Marin Symphony Youth ensembles will perform in the grand finale of her residency in a program called Orch'apalooza! In what is sure to be an energetic final number, all three of our youth ensembles (160 musicians ages 8–18) will join forces to perform the rousing "Toreador March" from Bizet's Carmen. The performance is followed by Cookie'palooza (free cookies for all attendees in the Redwood Foyer).

We all know the importance of music in our children's development.  Take advantage of this family-friendly entry into the world of classical music.

Hiking with Kids in Marin: The Waterfall Trail at Indian Valley Open Space Preserve

January 24, 2017

Indian Valley Waterfall Novato

When the rains comes down like it has recently, it's time to gather up the kids, put on the rain boots, and hike to a waterfall in Marin. One of our favorite local waterfall hikes is the Waterfall Trail at Indian Valley Open Space Preserve in Novato, a short and easy hike that almost anyone can manage. We've even seen sturdy offroad strollers on the trail.

To get there, take the Indian Valley Fire Road from either of College of Marin's Indian Valley Campus or the Indian Valley Road trailhead to where it meets the aptly named Waterfall Trail. On they way you'll be accompanied by a rushing stream that runs along the trail. Cross over a little wooden bridge into the woods and follow the trail—you'll hear the waterfall before you can see it.

Family-friendly Valentine's Day Teas in the Bay Area

January 23, 2017

This Valentine's Day, treat the ones you love (your kids, of course) to a fun festive tea party! Here's our guide to family-friendly Valentine's Day teas in Marin and the Bay Area. Make your reservations soon—they fill up fast.

  • Teddy Bear Tea
    San Anselmo Library
    Saturday, February 4
    10:30–11:30 am

    We are “bruin” some tea so be sure to bring your best teddy bear friend to the library for our first ever Teddy Bear Tea Party! Tea, games, and crafts await you and your furry friend. Advanced registration required by calling (415) 258-4656 to sign up. Location: 110 Tunstead Avenue, Council Chambers, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.

Slide Ranch Summer Day Camp 2017

January 23, 2017

Slide Ranch Summer Day Camp

Registration is now open for Marin's popular Slide Ranch Summer Day Camp, with sessions taking place from June 12 through August 18, 2017 at their spectacular seaside location in Muir Beach. Camps at Slide Ranch give kids a unique opportunity to get hands-on experience on a working farm and also explore the natural world surrounding the ranch.

Slide Ranch offers 10 nature-based camps geared for all different age groups including Ranch Rangers (ages 5 to 13), Slide Explorers (ages 5 to 8), and Junior Farmers (ages 8 to 13). Slide Ranch also offers three Junior Camp Counselor weeks for teens ages 14–18, where they attend and help teach at the camp.

Chinese New Year Family Fun in Marin and the Bay Area

January 23, 2017

Lion dancers for Chinese New Year Fourth Street BerkeleyLion dancers perform at the Lunar New Year Festival on Fourth Street in Berkeley

This month, the Year of the Monkey comes to an end and the Year of the Rooster begins! Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, starts on Saturday, January 28.

As with many major holidays, there's plenty of family fun to be found in Marin County and all over the San Francisco Bay Area, ranging from a Chinese New Year Festival at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito on Monday, February 15 to the big blowout Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco on Saturday, February 20.

Here are a dozen fun family Chinese New Year events not to miss in Marin and the Bay Area:

San Francisco Zoo Lunar New Year Celebration

San Francisco Zoo
Saturday & Sunday, January 28 & 29, February 4 & 5, 10 am–4 pm

To commemorate the Year of the Rooster, the San Francisco Zoo hosts two weekends of Lunar New Year celebrations. Marvel at traditional Chinese lion and folk dance performances, go on a zodiac scavenger hunt through the zoo to learn fun facts about the animals found on the Chinese calendar, and stop by the Family Farm to see the roosters at the zoo. Guests born in the Year of the Rooster (1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, and 2017) will receive free admission to the zoo!

Chinese Lion Dancers

Longevity Noodles for Chinese New Year

January 22, 2017

longevity noodles

Chinese New Year starts next Saturday, January 28, so we think it's fun to make some of the traditional foods associated with the holiday. Foods that are made and eaten during the New Year celebration often have symbolic meanings meant to invoke prosperity and good fortune. In this case, the name "longevity noodles" is self-explanatory: the long noodles symbolize a long and happy life. Don't break them up when you're cooking, and try to eat them all in one piece!

This recipe is our adaptation of the traditional dish. We included a variety of kid-friendly Asian veggies like snow peas, napa cabbage, and bean sprouts, and left out the black mushrooms at the request of my daughter, who helped shop for the ingredients. Feel free to vary the ingredients depending on your family's preferences. Our kids both asked for seconds (and ate the vegetables and chicken, not just the noodles).

Debunking Common Infant Sleep Myths

January 22, 2017

sleeping toddler or babyMarin Mommies presents a guest article by Marin parent coach, infant/toddler sleep researcher, and family therapist Angelique Millette.

Very often when I am speaking at workshops and conferences or working with parents in their home, common questions include opinions about infant sleep and sleep development. There are many sleep books available to parents that are "opinion-based" sleep books and not evidence based sleep books. This can be very confusing for parents who want to make an informed choice about how best to help themselves and their babies sleep. Also, misconceptions abound as the field of infant sleep research is limited and the research is primarily focused on one area: behavioral changes. A field of infant sleep is changing very quickly and new researching is debunking much of what we knew about infant sleep.

This article will debunk some of the common sleep myths while helping parents to make informed sleep choices that support their parenting philosophy as well as their infant or child's developmental needs.

Babies' sleep patterns are fully developed at birth.

Babies sleep patterns are not fully developed at birth. In fact, one of the most common reasons babies aren't able to "sleep well" is that the part of the brain that organizes sleep is just beginning to form in the first three to six months. The development of circadian rhythms, the biological temporal rhythms that help our bodies "know" a 24-hour day and the difference between day and night, begins the day your baby is born. The development of your baby’s circadian rhythms is dependent on their environment, i.e. caregivers, environmental cues, light exposure, consistent routines. Parents can help their babies cue their circadian rhythms by bringing them outside, opening the shades in the nursery and other rooms where the family spends time, introducing feed, play, sleep routines, and feeding frequently during the day.

Experience Hollywood Magic at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour

January 21, 2017

Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

One of the great things about living in California is the sheer amount of things for families to do. We love to get away to Southern California for all it has to offer, and we decided to make our last visit there all about movies and Hollywood. One of the highlights of our trip was the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. It's fun and fascinating—even on a rainy day like when we were there—and a must-visit during your family's Hollywood experience!

The tour takes place at Warner Bros'. legendary studio and back lot in Burbank. The whole experience is well organized and everyone we met on the tour was super knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Tours start with a brief indroductory video after which you meet your tour guide, board a tram, and head off for your Hollywood experience. On the tour you'll wind through almost every part of the famous Warner Bros. back lot. If you experience a sense of deja vu during your back lot tour, there's a good reason for that—an enormous number of well-known Hollywood movies and TV shows were and are shot here, from The Maltese Falcon, Rebel Without a Cause, and Blazing Saddles to Grease Live, Friends, and Gilmore Girls.

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